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Lip tints and stains create the perfect your-lips-but-better look


Best Lip Tints and Stains. Image @Violette_FR
Image: @Violette_FR
A hint of lip tint looks fresh and uncontrived, and doesn't need touch-ups all day long.

Don’t get us wrong, we love lipstick. But there’s a time and a place for power pout, and it’s not always when heading out for a casual brunch or a ‘meet the family’ get together with a new partner.

Combined with the more casual makeup trend that calls for a simple skin tint in place of foundation and perhaps a lick of mascara, it makes sense we’re updating our lip colour preferences too.

This new relaxed approach has seen a rise in the number of sheer lip blur colours, lip tints and lip stains. While they deliver a touch of colour, they also generally last well, meaning you don’t have the check them in the mirror, nor do they need constant reapplication.

What is a lip tint?

A lip tint is designed to add color to the lips in a more subtle and natural-looking way compared to traditional lipstick.

It is typically a lightweight, sheer, and often water-based formula that provides a hint of color and a flush of tint to the lips.

Lip tints are known for their airy, lightweight feel and ability to provide a long-lasting stain effect, making the color gradually fade over time as it interacts with the natural oils of the lips. It means they don’t create that annoying ‘tideline’, or perimeter of colour that sometimes remains as lipstick wears off.

Lip tints are available in various forms, such as liquids, gels, balms, and markers. They are often used to achieve a “just-bitten” or “your-lips-but-better” look, enhancing the natural color of the lips while adding a touch of vibrancy. Lip oils are similar but have a slick, high-shine oil consistency.

Popular for creating a more natural and effortless appearance lip tints and stains are especially favored in minimal makeup routines or for achieving a soft, gradient lip effect.

What is a lip blur?

That being said, there are a number of newer products that have a more intense pigment in the tube or wand, than can be dabbed on, and sheered out with a finger for a lip ‘blur’.  This look is popular in K Beauty and is also so ingrained in the beauty approach in France it even has it’s own name.

“In France, we love a ‘bouche mordue’ look, which translates in English to ‘bitten lips’”, says French makeup artist Violette, who has her own makeup line that has just launched at MECCA. “The idea is to have a hint of colour, like you’ve just been kissed after wearing a red lip. It’s meant to look like your own lip colour, not like lipstick. That’s why I created my Bisou Balm.”

Lip tints, lip stains and lip blurs can also be dabbed on the cheeks and blended well with fingers for a fresh, coordinating blush look.

What products should I try?

Best lip Tints and Lip Blur 2023

L-R: Aleph Cheek and Lip Tint in Emanate; Revlon Jelly Tint Lipcolor in Raspberry Rose; Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Lip Blur in Pillow Talk Blur; VIOLETTE_FR Bisou Balm in Amour Fou; Dior Addict Lip Tint in Natural Tea



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